Preterm labor is labor that starts before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. It can lead to premature birth. Premature babies may face serious health risks.
Symptoms of preterm labor include:
- Contractions every 10 minutes or more often
- Leaking fluid or bleeding from the vagina
- Feeling of pressure in the pelvis
- Low, dull backache
- Cramps that feel like menstrual cramps
- Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea
If you think you might be having preterm labor, contact your health care provider.
NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- About Preterm Labor and Birth (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in Spanish
- Extremely Preterm Birth (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)
- Preterm Birth (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Preterm labor (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- What Are the Risk Factors for Preterm Labor and Birth? (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in Spanish
- What Treatments Can Reduce the Chances of Preterm Labor and Birth? (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in Spanish
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Obstetric Labor, Premature (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Spontaneous preterm birth: Involvement of multiple feto-maternal tissues and organ systems,...
- Article: Comparison of oral Dydrogesterone and 17-α hydroxyprogesterone caprate in the prevention of preterm birth.
- Article: Characteristics of amniotic mesenchymal stromal cells derived from term and preterm...
- Preterm Labor -- see more articles